Category Archives: Comic

Casual Notice Comic — Professional Development

Casual Notice Comic for July 3, 2005.

So, at this time, I had decided that the Wednesday comics ere all going to be short little one-offs ending in Schmookie’s egg hatching, little by little. This, unfortunately, had the effect of breaking up the story comics which were already hard to follow due to the limitations of three-panel comicking.

The comic above addresses an actual issue. Teachers get many fewer days off than we want to believe (and, for the record, they don’t get paid for the couple of weeks they’re off in the summer). Often school holidays are spent, by the teachers, in a thing called “professional development.” Now, back in the day, teachers often fulfilled a professional development or continuing education requirement by attending classes at the nearest college, sometimes working toward an advanced degree, others simply updating their knowledge of their field (or education in general). The costs of these classes were often reimbursed.

At some point, this changed. Local governments stopped trusting teachers to manage their own professional development, and started requiring their attendance at various seminars. To make things worse, these seminars either began as, or quickly became, nothing more than sales presentations. So, a teacher would attend a mandatory seminar on time management, and find him-/her-self trapped in a six-hour commercial for some day planner (this was before smart phones).

Now, of course, with a surprising number of state boards of education in the pocket of a single test-making company, even professional development seminars are a thing of the past. Because teachers are now little more than proctors and mnemonic tools so children can learn to fill in the right dot.

I have a lot of teacher friends, so Casual Notice spends a fair amount of time addressing education and the many and varied ways we’d made it stupid and awful.

Casual Notice Comic — Yeah…

Casual Notice comic for July 1, 2005.

…Aaaaaand we’re back.

I hate the artwork on this one. The inconsistency of my art is something I struggled with for Casual Notice’s entire run. Sometimes I’d be spot on and then–in the next panel–I’d draw something that looked like I was using my feet. While drunk. Wearing combat boots.

Casual Friday–Just Like Dubuque

Still a lot going on, here. Penny and Diana are arguing about Diana’s bad habits (the mythical Diana/Artemis did the same thing…a lot. Look it up). Steve is recognizing Phil (which comes up later), and other things.

There’s important information here that I couldn’t really place. Penny works as an administrator for her father’s private detective agency, which also has a sideline of solving problems related to the supernatural and, in particular, the loose group of immortals known as the Old Crowd. Every time Diana has one of her snits, she makes a phone call and Penny has a lot of work to do making irritations go away, especially since Diana’s snits usually result in someone dying ironically (Acteon was eaten by his own dogs).

The Dubuque incident went down like this: Diana was waiting to meet a client in a bar (she’s a sports agent) when a guy approached her seeking directions to the bathroom. She turned him into a sheep (he was wearing a wool suit), and refused to turn him back because, “He probably saw my cleavage.” (She was wearing a scoop-necked t-shirt, so pretty much everyone in Dubuque had seen her cleavage by then.)

Anyway, the upshot was that the guy was coincidentally emotionally and physically abusive, so his wife wasn’t too heart-broken over his “fatal traffic accident.” His kids got to go to college on the “insurance settlement,” and the guy himself got to enjoy an early retirement on a farm in Upstate New York, where he provided wool for the Brooks Brothers corporation until his death from more or less natural causes in 1974. He was committed to eternity with some baby potatoes and a nice mint jelly.

Casual Monday–ZAF!

This comic is a disappointment to me on a variety of levels. For one thing, straight, parallel lines have always been my bane, so that cage looks like it was the ball in a pick-up game of soccer. Secondly, I’m not in love with the way I drew Penny, here. But, mostly, I tried to cram too many concepts into a three-panel comic.

You can see in the dialog that I’m juggling the end of Steve’s conversation with Diana, the fact that Penny and Steve are already acquainted, and Diana’s bad habit of transforming people into easily murdered other things.